Scammers now demanding Bitcoin as CRA scam goes digital

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Julia Tsokur/Shutterstock

In the last week the Halton Regional Police Service have seen another variation of the commonly known Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam.

Victims are being told that they have outstanding debt with the CRA and in order to avoid arrest, they are now being directed to local “BITCOIN” ATM machines to deposit cash funds into anonymous digital wallets. Members of the public are making these deposits thinking that they are paying off the alleged debt and avoiding arrest.

Investigation into one such digital wallet revealed that 17 deposits had been made in one 24 hour period, with an equivalent amount being $11,900 dollars USD. The source of all these deposits is not known, but police suspect they are all victims to fraud related scams.

Halton Police would like to again warn the public about the CRA scam and remind them that the CRA would never ask for payment to be made through gift cards or Bitcoin and would never use the phone as a first point of contact when dealing with clients.

If contacted by the CRA in such a manner, police recommend hanging up the phone, and if in any doubt, to source the true number for the CRA and make your own inquiries about the status of your account. Do not call the caller back on any phone numbers that they themselves have provided you.